Broadway.com has confirmed that director Alex Timbers and Disney Theatrical Productions have parted ways on the upcoming Broadway musical Frozen. No word yet if this will impact the timing of the project: the eagerly anticipated stage adaptation of the movie is scheduled to make its world premiere in August 2017 at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The New York Post has claimed that Frozen has booked the St. James Theatre for the planned spring 2018 Main Stem bow.
Announcement of a new director will be made in the near future. Peter Darling, who had been set to choreograph the production, also recently departed the project; an equity casting notice for a fall developmental lab suggests that Tony winner Christopher Gattelli will replace him.
“Making the tough calls when creating a new Broadway musical is never easy, but this was especially painful," said Thomas Schumacher, President and Producer of DTP, in a statement. "Alex Timbers is one of the most exciting and innovative theater directors I know, and we’ve proudly worked with him from my support of the early development of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson through our work together on Peter and the Starcatcher. Though we have chosen to go in another direction with this role, we are committed to seeing Frozen’s tremendous theatrical potential brought to life onstage.”
The Disney musical, featuring the beloved tunes (and some new ones) by married songwriting duo Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and a book by screenwriter Jennifer Lee, follows two royal sisters, Elsa and Anna, whose relationship is put to the test when Elsa’s magical ice powers are unleashed during a power anthem that you’re still singing under your breath. Also in the mix are a strapping iceman, his reindeer, a fast-talking snowman and a too-good-to-be-true prince. We probably didn't need to explain that to you.
The film won Oscars in 2013 for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song (for “Let It Go”) and featured the vocal talents of several Broadway favorites, including Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana and Kristen Bell.
No word yet on casting for the musical. In a lab of the tuner earlier this year, Betsy Wolfe, Patti Murin and Okieriete Onaodowan played Elsa, Anna and Kristoff, respectively.